For more than a millennium, atheist people tend to be more intelligent than religious people. It’s unclear why atheist people are more intelligent, but researchers have an idea: Religion is an instinct and atheist people can rise above that instinct.
Will you be smarter if you become an atheist?
This is why atheist people are more intelligent. Intelligence can be understood as an instinct. The intellectually curious can open to non-instinctive things. In classical Greece and Rome, it was remarked that “fools” tended to be religious, while the “wise” were often skeptics. The ancients weren’t the only ones to notice this association with religion and atheism.
Scientists ran an analysis of 63 studies and found that religious people tend to be less intelligent than atheist people. But why does this association with religion and atheism exist? Dutton was thinking that it was because atheist people were more rational.
Why are atheist people smarter than religious people?
But “more recently, I started to wonder if I’d got it wrong,” Dutton told Live Science. “I found evidence that intelligence is positively associated with certain kinds of bias.” A 2012 study showed that college students often get logical answers wrong but don’t realize it. This so-called “bias blind spot” happens when people cannot detect flaws, within their own thinking.
“If anything, a larger bias blind spot was associated with higher cognitive ability,” the researchers of the 2012 study wrote in the abstract. So why is intelligence associated with atheism? The answer, he suggested, is that religion is an instinct, and it takes intelligence to overcome an instinct and become an atheist.
Why intelligent people are better at adopting atheism
The assumptions are that “intelligent people are better than unintelligent people at dealing with ‘evolutionary novelty’. Dutton and Van der Linden says that evolution is something that opposes evolved instincts. Religious people have instincts and intelligent people can overcome it and adopt atheism. Cofnas said. “Without knowing the nature of the ‘religious instinct,’ we can’t rule out the possibility that atheism, or at least some forms of atheism, harness them.”